25 March 201508:42

Shane Watson inspires kids to ‘Dream Big’ at ICC / Room to Read book launch

Australia all-rounder launches children’s book to promote reading as part of ICC Cricket World Cup’s commitment to supporting community causes

Shane Watson inspires kids to ‘Dream Big’ at ICC / Room to Read book launch - Cricket News

ICC and Room to Read have focused on motivating children across Asia and Africa to pursue their right to a quality education.

Australian star all-rounder Shane Watson, is a force to be reckoned with on the cricket pitch, but today he was seen championing the cause of education for children.

Watson has been named the star in a children’s book that has been published by Room to Read, a global non-profit organisation that promotes literacy and gender equality in education across Asian and African countries together with the International Cricket Council (ICC).

The book will be published in Bangla, with an initial print-run of 2,500 copies and distributed to schools across Bangladesh and will be available for reprint in future years for additional schools. This children’s title, entitled Dream Big, is about a young boy, Ratul, who dreams about meeting his hero Shane after seeing him on television. The book inspires children to Dream Big and recognises that great things are possible with perseverance.

“Reading is an important tool in a child’s overall development, I encourage children to read more and develop an all-round personality. My message to children worldwide is to Dream Big and never stop chasing your dream. Big dreams can lead to bigger things in life and this is what this book strives to do”, Watson commented at the book’s launch in the Sydney Cricket Ground.

Room to Read Chief Development Officer, Dr. Geetha Murali commented, “The partnership with ICC has been about giving children the opportunity to let their love of cricket inspire their love of reading, and Dream Big reinforces that connection. This is the story of a young child’s biggest dream coming true. I hope that children reading it will have their imaginations captured by the storyline and vivid illustrations. I am sure that they will discover their love of reading as they turn the pages.”

ICC and Room to Read have been working together since ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 and have focused on motivating children across Asia and Africa to pursue their right to a quality education. The partnership has involved numerous activities including Room to Read Ambassadors Shane Watson, Angelo Matthews and Virat Kohli meeting beneficiaries from Room to Read programmes and promoting the importance of reading and education. The organisations aim to foster awareness for the importance of education and leave a positive impact of cricket on local communities.

Commenting on the occasion, ICC Chief Executive David Richardson said, “It is indeed rewarding to be able to champion this worthy cause, alongside Room to Read. Our cricketing stars are great examples of individuals who have made the best of what life has to offer, often in challenging circumstances and against all odds. We congratulate Shane Watson on his efforts in supporting this cause, inspiring young children to achieve the best in their lives”.

Since 2000, Room to Read has published more than 1,150 titles for young children. Each book is developed by local authors and illustrators and reflects a commitment to ensuring that children enjoy learning. The books created are culturally relevant and age-appropriate, so the content can immediately resonate with the children and help develop their reading skills and habit.

Room to Read has expanded its programmes into 10 countries and has worked with more than 17,000 partner schools. Working in collaboration with local communities, partner organisations and governments to develop literacy skills and a habit of reading among primary school children, Room to Read is on its way to reaching 10 million children through its programmes by the end of 2015.